The Rise of Disability Stigma | JSTOR Daily

Stigmas around disability run so deep that it can be hard to imagine what a society that fully included disabled people would look like. But it may be helpful to look at the way attitudes toward disability have shifted with social and economic change.

Until the late nineteenth century, historian Douglas C. Baynton writes, the words most often used to describe what we would now call disability were “infirmity” and “affliction.” But these terms did not cleanly separate the disabled from everyone else. Anyone might suffer the “infirmities of age” or an “infirmity of purpose.” And an “affliction” could be anything [...]

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